The complete Philips recital recordings of a leading French baritone of the postwar era.
The tessitura of Maurane's fine voice, with a pleasant low register and clear, fluent top notes like a tenor's, places him in that splendid line of French baryton-Martin named after the early 19th-century singer Jean-Blaise Martin. More modern exponents include Pierre Bernac, creator of many songs by Poulenc, and Jacques Jansen, recently the subject of a tribute on record by Eloquence (4824603) featuring Decca recital recordings of Debussy, Chabrier, Ravel and Reynaldo Hahn.
Jansen's contemporary, Maurane (1911-2010) was an equally renowned exponent of the role of Pelleas in Debussy's opera for which his delicately shaded palette of timbres was ideally suited. Maurane's longevity and diligently maintained technique allowed him to continue singing well into his 70s. Throughout his career he retained his clear diction and a mode of restrained expression which had been the hallmarks of his teacher at the Conservatoire, Claire Croiza.
However, his voice was in its prime when these recital recordings were made in Paris in 1954-5 for the then-new Philips label. As Daniele Pistone observes in a newly commissioned appreciation for the booklet, for Maurane music was all about nuance, and with the most subtle command of nuance he would try to find the best blend of colours, heightened by the silences between the music. From the spareness of Debussy's Trois ballades de Francois Villon to the clarity of Ravel's Don Quichotte a Dulcinee, as well as the more intense expression of Duparc's songs, he is at the height of his powers; he moulds syllables, shapes ideas, and in a superbly evocative manner demonstrates the art of turning music into speech.
'Camille Maurane is naturally sympathetic and his style has a parlando element... he is very well accompanied and the balance is excellent.' Gramophone, November 1984 (La bonne chanson)
'In the Duparc group, one can hear why Maurane was so admired in France... his beautiful baritone, never forced, caresses the words and the vocal line.' Gramophone, December 1995